The group, dubbed One Hundred Seconds to Midnight – Sounding the Alarm on Climate Change, contains more than 800 works dating from the 15th century to today by eminent writers, scientists and activists.
“Climate change has rightly been acknowledged as the defining issue of our time”, said Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington. “The concept of putting together a definitive collection of original works that chart the history of environmentalism was born around three years ago when we realised there wasn’t something like it currently in existence, and we felt there really should be.”
The range of items incorporate first-edition books and original maps, manuscripts, photographs, and landmark documents including the first use of terms such as the ‘greenhouse effect’ and ‘global warming’.
Other notable inclusions are the first appearance in Italian of Aristotle’s Meteorology (the oldest known treatise on what the Greeks called ‘klima’), the original publication of one of the earliest printed works on weather forecasting by Firmin de Beauval, and Earthrise – the first full-colour photograph of our planet taken during the Apollo 8 lunar orbit and described as “the most influential environmental photo ever taken”.
The collection is priced at £1.65m with a portion of the sale proceeds going to fund the World Land Trust.
Climate change is also a theme across the park at Frieze London where non-profit organisation Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) has taken a booth. Artist Wolfgang Tillmans (b.1968) and the gallery that represents him, GCC member Maureen Paley, have donated a single-edition photographic print for sale on the booth, priced at $95,000, with all profits to go towards funding the GCC’s activities.